Discover and draw strength from the meaning of Nehemiah 8:10, where it declares that the joy of the Lord is the strength of His people.
As Christians, we experience different emotions every day. From love to anger to passion and even anxiety, it’s all part of our human nature.
Ours emotions serve as an immediate response to the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So when we have a bad day at work, it’s human nature to get frustrated.
When we come home to a pleasant surprise, it is our nature to respond with happiness and joy. When we experience similar events loss of a loved one first, it is most humane to answer by plunging into the depths of grief. We are devastated, we are constantly reminded that we will not see them again in this world in our daily lives.
however, Nehemiah 8:10 gives us insight into the mystery that keeps our head above even the roughest waters. He says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” So what is this joy of the Lord? What does that mean? How does it strengthen us and how can we continually walk in it?
What does the Bible say about joy?
Dictionaries define joy as “a feeling of great satisfaction and happiness,” but the Bible goes further.
Galatians 5:22 says
“And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
In the Bible, joy is not just a feeling. This is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, a gift of God. The Hebrew word for “joy” mentioned in Nehemiah 8:10 is translated as “khedva” which means to rejoice or be glad. So according to this verse, joy is actually in action and word, not just in feeling.
What is the Bible verse Joy of the Lord is my strength?
Verse “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:9-10. It says;
“9. Then Nehemiah, the ruler, Ezra, the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites, who taught the people, said to all of them: “This day is holy to the Lord, your God. Don’t be sad and don’t cry.” For all the people wept, listening to the words of the Law.
- Then he said to them, “Go, eat fat, drink sweet, and send portions to him who has prepared nothing; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be sad, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
What is the biblical context of Nehemiah 8:10?
The backstory here is that the Israelites have just returned to Jerusalem from exile. They listened to the reading of the Law and understood how far from the Law their actions were. In response, they were confused and wept for their sins.
Then Nehemiah urged them not to weep or mourn any more, but instead they should eat and share their food with one another. Looking at it, it sounds silly to eat when they should have been fasting, wearing sackcloth and ashes on their foreheads and mourning. Similarly, it sounds silly to be happy when someone has just died. But it is possible, and the answer to the question “how” is in the next sentence; for the joy of God will give us strength.
The joy of the Lord is the joy that God himself gives. He is unaffected by circumstances and lifts our spirits even in the darkest of times.
What does the Joy of the Lord mean?
God’s joy is true joy that comes to us from the Holy Spirit.
Like the Israelites, we are strengthened by the knowledge that despite our mistakes and sins, despite our current situation, God loves us and works all things together for our good.
It is a revelation that the same God who sent His only son to die on the cross for us in exchange for a deep and working relationship with us is also watching over us and will provide for our every need. God loves us deeply. It is what strengthens us and lifts our spirits in times of hurt, pain and grief.
How do you receive the joy of the Lord?
You don’t have to climb over seven mountains and pass through seven seas to get God’s joy. This is already a a gift from God through His Holy Spirit. To receive this gift, we can:
- Spend time in His presence.
1 Chron. 16.27 helps us understand that strength and joy are His dwelling place. David, the man of God’s presence, said: “You have put more joy in my heart than when their grain and wine grew.” (Psalm 4:7)
Through spending time in God’s presence, worship and prayer, this joy, better than wine, will be planted in our hearts.
U Psalm 43:4says david “Then I will come to the altar of God, to the God of my joy, and on the harp I will praise You, God, my God.”
For David, God is joy. Thus, reflecting on our lives helps us to be grateful for the little miracles that we might take for granted and completely miss. Instead of focusing on the bad things, we should focus on the blessings we have and be grateful.
Thinking and choosing to believe God’s Word over our situations will help us stay happy. The constant absorption and inculcation of His word in our hearts flows from the source of joy.
Why is God’s joy important?
In a world full of turmoil, uncertainty, anxiety, and depression, God’s joy is our perfect refuge. Things like money, networking, partying, sex, drugs, and all the other things that people in the world try to do to bring themselves joy can only bring temporary happiness.
This is why they seem to be in an endless pursuit of happiness and purpose. None of these things are truly satisfying. But God’s joy is complete and lasting. It takes God’s joy to laugh out loud in a seemingly hopeless situation because it gives confidence. It is out of this world.
What brings joy to the Lord?
God is pleased when we come to Him and not to the world. He enjoys interacting with us and spending quality time with us. He rejoices when we do His will. He laughs and is so proud when we make good use of all the gifts He has given us and reach our full potential. He is most happy when sinners come to Him. (Luke 15:7) A lot applications for prayer focus on helping Christians who need guidance.
Verses from the Bible about the joy of the Lord.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may be enriched in hope.”
“9. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness,” so I will boast of my weaknesses with greater joy, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
- Therefore, for Christ’s sake, I rejoice in weaknesses, grievances, difficulties, persecutions, difficulties. Because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.”
“Rejoice always in the Lord; I will say again: rejoice.”
“For the kingdom of God is not in food and drink, but in truth, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
“I have told you that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.”
Although we may not “feel” happy all the time, the Lord’s joy is something constant and should be reflected in our response to circumstances. God’s joy is never dependent on what happens around us. “Happy confidence, my Jesus.” This is our strength. And it is so beautiful and confident.